Training Pupdates

Sunny meets fellow GDF puppy Sandy

Sunny and Olivia Update March 6, 2018

Scene one, take two!  It is a very surreal feeling to be back at the beginning of another TODAY Puppy with a Purpose.  The privilege is most certainly not lost on me!  Different puppy, different purpose, but same Sunny in her puppy vest sitting on a blanket outside.heart and soul going into it.  Studio 1A is such bright, cheery place, and I think it is incredibly fitting that America chose to name our boy “Sunny.”  There is no doubt in my mind that TODAY will help our Sun to rise.  During our first week, Sunny met some very talented people including Kelly Clarkson and Jimmy Buffett.  Inspiration is never in short supply!  He also met Maia and Alex Shibutani, Team USA skaters and siblings, affectionately know as the “Shib Sibs.” 

Sunny was quick to brag on his own siblings (Brady, Camden, Izzy, and Zuma) who are helping to expand the “Puppy with a Purpose” program to local NBC stations across the country.  It has been fun for us to follow their segments and watch (with pride!) as they serve as teammates in helping the public understand what it takes to become a Guide Dog Foundation guide dog or America’s VetDogs service dog for someone in need.

Right now, Sunny keeps me on my toes with those razor-sharp puppy teeth, middle-of-the-night nature calls, and his boundless energy, but I know if I blink, his extra soft puppy fur, rolls too many to count, and heart-melting puppy face will fade into a grown-up guide dog.  My plan is to enjoy each stage (they never last) and thoroughly enjoy sharing the journey with you.  Get ready: his future is so bright- you’re going to need shades! 😎

Checking in w/ the class of 2019

Charlie and Stacy visit TODAY

TODAY puppy name reveal

Class of 2019 visits Megyn Kelly TODAY

Introducing the class of 2019

Meet Sunny

Hi, America!  It's SUNNY! - your new TODAY puppy with a purpose.  I have the honor of following in Charlie's paw prints and I couldn't be more excited to share my journey to become a guide dog with you.  Today puppy with a purpose Sunny.As you know, Charlie had wonderful adventures last year – exploring so many exciting new places and meeting tons of amazing people, and I'm excited to take on my own adventures. I'm also looking forward to working with Olivia every day during my journey.  I know one day I'll help change the life of someone who is visually impaired and I ask that you support my mission in doing so.

Also, be sure to follow me on Olivia's Instagram page, and check back in on this page for updates on my socializing and training.  Wish me luck!

Birthday: January 2, 2018
Mom: Muffin (Yellow Labrador Retriever)
Dad: Pancho (Black Labrador Retriever)
Siblings: Seven brothers and sisters (3 yellow male, 1 black male, 2 black female)
This little guy is confident and adventurous. 

Meet Olivia Poff

Olivia Poff began working with Guide Dog Foundation as a volunteer puppy raiser 9 years ago. The United States Marine Corp. veteran that received the first puppy that she raised stated that her service dog not only improved her life, but saved it. It was in that moment that Olivia realized she wanted to join the assistance dog Olivia with Charlie at TODAYindustry professionally. 

Olivia graduated from the University of Georgia in 2011 with a degree in Animal Science and has worked in the puppy and training departments of Guide Dog Foundation and America's VetDogs for over 6 years. She has raised 7 puppies total, including Charlie (TODAY's previous "puppy with a purpose"), and has formally trained 25 guide dogs for 25 deserving people. “The power of human-animal bond is something that never ceases to amaze me”.

Get your Puppy with a Purpose

Photo of a black and yellow plush Lab toy with an GDF vest.